SHELDON, N.Y. — Three relatives were killed and six others were injured in a crash while heading for Niagara Falls on a holiday weekend trip, when a suspected drunken driver’s pickup truck hit their SUV, authorities said.
A child of 4 was among the dead, and four other children were injured, Wyoming County Sheriff Gregory Rudolph said.
“Anytime a child is involved — and in this case, we had five — it pulls at you,” he told The Daily News of Batavia. “It’s a tragedy.”
Investigators believe the pickup ran a stop sign and hit the SUV around 6:30 a.m. Sunday at an intersection in Sheldon, said Rudolph. Sheldon is a small town about 30 miles (48 km) southeast of Buffalo.
The SUV was carrying nine members of a family from New Jersey, the sheriff said.
The impact hurled two women from the SUV, killing them at the scene of the crash. The 4-year-old was taken to a hospital with head injuries and didn’t survive them.
Six others, including four children ranging in age from 4 to 14, were taken to hospitals. One man was released after treatment. The others’ conditions weren’t immediately available.
None of the relatives’ identities or hometowns were released as authorities worked to notify their family.
The pickup driver, Richard Sawicki, 20, was arrested on aggravated vehicular homicide, DWI and reckless driving charges. He was arraigned and held on $200,000 bond.
Messages were left at his lawyer’s office and possible phone numbers for his Lackawanna home.
Sawicki is due back in court June 10.